Teens use alcohol more than any other drug. This tends to be probably due in part to the fact that it’s widely available and socially acceptable. Underage drinking is the rule rather than the exception at most teen parties. It’s even seen by many adults as a rite of passage. However, recreational drinking can turn into dangerous alcohol dependence for some teens. It can even reach to the extent that a percentage need professional treatment at an adolescent treatment center.
Risk Factors of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol dependence and addiction do not have one single cause. Instead, many factors combine into the perfect storm of genetic, environmental and situational components. They include:
- Mental health issues
- Family influences (if other family members are alcoholics or heavy drinkers)
- Teen is in a peer group where alcohol use and abuse is encouraged
- Teen lives in a stressful environment with little or no support
Disturbingly, heavy alcohol abuse in teens can lead to permanent physical changes to the developing brain. Getting help from a teen alcohol rehab center or other substance abuse programs can assist the young person in stopping their destructive behavior.
Symptoms of Alcohol Dependence in Teens
During the teen years, many normal developmental changes occur. This is the time when a young person begins to separate themselves from their family in preparation for going out on their own. During these years, teens often experiment with different identities, they associate with changing groups of friends and rebel against the authority of their parents. Emotions can often be high, with arguments and emotional outbursts occurring on a regular basis. Although it can sometimes be difficult for parents and caregivers to separate a teen’s perfectly normal need for privacy and independence from warning signs of alcoholism, knowing what to look for can help.
The following are some red flags to be on the lookout for indicating that a teen may be abusing alcohol:
- Changes in grades, friend groups, and hobbies
- Rebelliousness, argumentative, secretive behaviors
- Failure to attend school or work or take care of other responsibilities
- Physical symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, intoxication, poor hygiene and flushed skin
- Inability to concentrate as well as short-term memory loss
- Depression and mood swings
Ongoing alcohol abuse in the teen years can often lead to other risky behaviors such as the use of hard drugs and unprotected sex. Students may also fall behind in school, eventually dropping out or reducing their chances of getting into college or finding a good job.
How Zelus Recovery Can Help
Alcohol dependence in the adolescent and teen years puts a young person on a dangerous road of increasingly limited opportunities and alienation from the people they love. That’s why it is crucial to get help right now. Zelus Recovery is an addiction treatment facility specifically for young adults and teens under age 25 located in Meridian, Idaho. Helping young people to overcome alcohol dependence and addiction while forming healthy relationships with their family is our mission, and that’s all we do. We remain small so that we can give each and every enrollee in our program the one-on-one, personalized treatment customized for optimal success. We provide the following:
- Intensive outpatient program that allows young people to keep living at home and going to school while getting the treatment they need
- Special focus on dual diagnosis such as addiction and mental illness
- Early intervention for adolescents
- Inclusion of families in all aspects of treatment
- Proven individual and family therapies to aid in understanding the causes and triggers of alcohol dependence and to assist in building healthy relationships
Don’t let alcohol dependence ruin your life or the life of someone you love. Get compassionate help at Zelus Recovery today by calling 208.518.0797.